Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

  • The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC)
  • Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)
  • VOYA
Contact Information: VALIC
Elton Thomas
2024 Seminole Road
Columbus, MS 39705

Chip Hawkins
625 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 201
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Six Concourse Parkway, Suite 2600
Atlanta, GA 30328-5346

Richella B. Vincent Lee
Individual Consultant
1-800-842-2003 Ext. 26-3570

Cheryl Leonard-Peeples
Individual Consultant
1-800-842-2003 Ext. 26-3534

Marcus Kincaid
Reregistered Representative/Local Servicing Agent
P.O. Box 1241
Louisville, MS 39339

Eligibility:Benefits eligible employees holding specific positions as defined by state law are eligible to participate in the ORP plan. Specific positions eligible for participation are:
  • Teaching and administrative faculty
  • Librarians with academic rank
  • Intercollegiate coaches (with or without academic rank)
  • Administrators with budgetary authority
  • Employees hired on or after July 1, 2001, as an intern or resident in training at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine under a teaching program, as a post doctoral assistant or post doctoral fellow, or as a research scientist without academic rank.
Plan Information:ORP is a defined contribution plan with the availability of funds being portable and transferable.
Contributions: The employee's pre-tax contribution is 9% of gross wages and the university's contribution is 15.75% of the employee's gross wages. However, the university's contribution is split between the ORP and PERS plans with 13.25% to ORP and 2.5% of contributions to PERS. Both the university's and employee's contributions are portable.
Vesting Period:Immediately vested upon election of ORP
Retirement Eligibility:Retirement at any age
Election Timeline:ORP eligible employees have 30 days from date of hire to make their retirement election between ORP and PERS. Once an ORP election is made, this election is irrevocable as long as an employee holds an ORP eligible position. If no election is made within 30 days from date of hire, an employee will automatically default to PERS unless a previous ORP election was made while the individual was employed with another IHL institution through the State of Mississippi and he or she now holds an ORP eligible position through Mississippi State University. In that situation, the employee must participate in ORP. Individual consultants are available to assist with investment options.
Plan Activation:The three approved providers are listed above. Employees should make their election by following these steps:
  1. Contact the provider(s) to find the plan that best fits your retirement income strategies. You may select multiple providers.
  2. Once you have selected the provider(s) in which you wish to participate, complete the ORP Retirement Plan Election/Vendor Selection (Form 4E).
  3. Complete an application for each provider you select. Contact the HRM Benefits Staff or the provider(s) to obtain an application.